eBay are putting into effect the returns changes they announced in spring affecting a number of categories – they’re removing the 14-day returns option so you’ll only be able to offer 30- or 60-day returns in these categories. eBay will also start to automate refunds for sellers who are slow to process payments.
Returns period changes
From May 2018 it won’t be possible to offer 14-day returns on new listings in those select categories, and you must offer a minimum 30-day returns period instead. An interesting titbit from eBay is that they saw sellers who changed their returns policies from 14-day to 30-day returns experienced an average 13% lift in their conversion rate.
From August, if you haven’t updated your returns period for existing listings in these categories then eBay will automatically update the returns period to 30-days on your listings.
Categories where 14-day returns will no longer be available
- Health & Beauty
- Home & Garden
- Sports, Hobbies & Leisure
- Vehicle Parts & Accessories
4 returns policy options available within these categories
- 30-day buyer pays return postage
- 30-day free returns
- 60-day buyer pays return postage
- 60-day free returns
It’s reasonable that if a buyer returns an item that they are refunded promptly. eBay say that they see a significant number of buyers return items and then have to chase their refund and often this puts the seller’s metrics at risk if the case is escalated to eBay.
To counteract this, sellers will now have two days to perform the refund or eBay will step in an automatically refund the buyer in cases where the item as tracked and eBay can see it was returned. Once the buyer is refunded, eBay will close the refund request to protect the seller from escalations and having their performance dinged unnecessarily.
We know returns aren’t top of most seller’s priority lists and that generally picking and packing orders takes precedence, especially at the beginning of the week when a whole weekends sales have to be despatched. However the days of letting returns pile up and be processed on a Friday are gone… unless you’re happy for eBay to process refunds on your behalf but you may not be as then there will be no chance of issuing a partial refund.
Last year eBay started to let sellers issue what they term as a ‘less than full refund’ if goods are returned in a different condition to when despatched. To help provide more clarity over when a partial refund can be issued, eBay are updating the Partial Refunds Guidance so you understand the flexibility you have to issue a “less than full refund”.